Monday, September 25, 2006

OMG WTF BBQ-ed Thinkpad 600x....

Linux kernel hacker Alan Cox has always sworn by his ThinkPad 600x. I have one myself, and one 600e with a screwed up LCD that an acquaintance gave me from the pallet of ThinkPads he bought from the Enron bankruptcy auction.

However, all that love went up in smoke, quite literally, on September 22nd.

According to Alan Cox's wife, this was the scene she saw right after the explosion.

Alan was on the other side of the room from the laptop. I was elsewhere. He yelled out, I ambled towards the room in my own good time, and then I heard Fire! Real fire! Call the fire brigade, now! and I speeded up a bit.

From Alan subsequently, I gather there was an explosion and flying pieces of laptop, and a fireball, and a couple of fires started where (presumably) boiling battery landed, and one fragment smashed an LCD monitor. And then there was smoke and smell (there is still smell) and smoke alarm wailing and firemen and sirens and paramedics (happily unneeded) and police and a man with a notebook asking questions for the fire report.

Now I'm worried about BlueTank, (600x) TejanoAzul (ex-Enron 600e) and my former BlueTomato, another 600e now living with my friend Shelby. The older battery I have that I use with the Tank when hooked up to a power source is an authentic IBM battery. The newer battery is Hacked By Chinese and I'm not entirely sure I trust it now. Tejano Azul doesn't even have a battery...I gave its battery to SFVLUG prime mover Brian Ragazzi and it's now living in HIS 600e. Chad Page has a couple of 600 series laptops with batteries in various stages of health.

Perhaps there's going to be a recall of 600 series batteries? The 600 series had other battery problems, namely the fact that the AC subsystem in the 600 series tended to over charge and fry out batteries prematurely. Perhaps IBM isn't going to give a hoot because the 600 is way too old to care about. Who knows.

All I know is that these are ugly, ugly pix. And Alan Cox is one of the unsung heroes of Open Source. He doesn't deserve to have his pride and joy computer go Kablooey and to be even mildly injured in the process. Eep...